STATEMENT: The other day I was in my kitchen helping myself to a glass of water when my dad, who was cooking dinner said, “Excuse me, Isobel, how many potatoes do we have?” Usually he would look himself, but recently his retina detached so currently he can only see out of one eye. I went to the potato basket and said, “We have two mini ones and two huge ones.” Then I brought them all to him.
“These are not huge potatoes! These are sweet potatoes!” he cried, “I am so embarrassed that you are my daughter!”
The following week he decided that since he could see out of only one eye and had taken time off work we would do some father-daughter bonding time during which he would teach me life skills. “Today I will show you how to bake my favourite cake. The somewhat prosaic title of this cake is ‘Olive Oil Cake’. I think a lot of people might find this gross. They might say, “EW YUK A CAKE MADE OF OIL.” To avoid this, I suggest you use euphemisms. Let’s just call this ‘Zest Cake’.
“First we must grease the pan. You must take this baking paper and trace around the pan using a non-toxic pen.”
“Is this pen toxic?”
“Next we must beat the seven egg whites. Always use a bowl that is bigger than you would like. Now beat the eggs into stiff peaks in a swooping motion. Pretend you are like a bird swooping into a wave. No, not like that. Pretend you are like a bird. Yes, better.”
“What do I do now?”
“We must let the egg whites rest in a cool place. No, not there, that is in the sun. Yes here, in the dark corner next to the plastic bag full of shredded paper.
“Dad, can you please get the sieve. We need to sift the flour.”
“We actually don’t have a sieve. I think using this colander would be better than nothing.”
“I disagree. I think using the colander would be the same as nothing. Giant spaghetti strands have been known to escape that colander. Let’s just put the flour straight in.”
“Okay. Good executive decision! While you are beating the egg whites, I will quiz you on facts about cooking. In Masterchef, what do most chefs say their favourite cooking implement is?”
“That’s easy. Bowl.”
“WRONG! Wooden spoon.”
“But how can you mix things with your wooden spoon when you don’t have a bowl?”
“I don’t think bowl counts as an implement.”
“Now we must grate the lemon and orange zest for the zest cake.” At this point he handed me a large grater and I proceeded to injure myself.
“I’m bleeding everywhere.”
“Yes, now please mix those ingredients together while I lick this bowl.”
“Why would you want to lick that bowl? All it contains is flour and olive oil?”
“Mmmmm yum! This batter is nice!”
After this we put the cake in the oven and he went out. Then my mum came in and said, “Have you considered using our dog as a foot warmer? I know he is small but when he sits near my feet, I just sort of put my feet in his armpits and that is very warm.”
“Food for thought, mum. Thanks.”
At this point dad appeared out of nowhere. “That’s gross!” he said to mum. She shrugged and walked off.